Seagate 5GB USB 2.0 Pocket Hard Drive
Review With USB Flash drives growing in capacity and falling in price, it's a brave move on Seagate's part to release its 5GB USB 2.0 Pocket Hard Drive. It's certainly not be a revolutionary product, but while Flash drives are hovering around the 2GB mark, having 5GB of storage in your pocket can't be a bad thing, writes Lars-Goran Nilsson.
The PHD is round - an unusual shape for a device of this type - but it fits very comfortably in the palm of your hand and is more aesthetically pleasing than the more usual rectangular casings.
The box is constructed from two separate parts, one silver and one black. The silver part has two rubber feet to give it stability when it's sitting on your desk or PC. The contrasting black part rotates to reveal the integrated USB connector, complete with a 13cm cable. Since the drive is bus-powered, the built-in cable not only means you don't need to take a separate one with you, but you don't need a power adaptor either.
Still, 13cm is a bit short and I would have liked to have seen a longer cable for users whose USB ports are at the back of a machine tucked underneath a desk. At least USB extension cables are easy to find, and adding a longer cable would also have added size to the drive.
The PHD's size and ease of connectivity are shared with USB Flash drives, of course. What sets the Seagate product apart is the excellent, easy to use software that it's supplied with. The PHD toolkit clearly displays how much free space is left on the disk. It allows you to make the drive bootable, and you can also repartition the disk here, although any data resident at the time will be lost.
It's possible to password-protect the drive to keep sensitive data safe from prying eyes, but you have to create a secure partition first. There is also a write protection option, so you can make sure you don't delete important files by mistake. The software's help section contains a link to the PDF manual that resides on the disk, a web link for software updates and a link to Seagate's support website.
To test the pocket drive I copied a single 699MB file as well as 696MB of MP3 files to and from the drive. Writing the single 699MB file took 1m 41s, while reading it back took 1m 27s. Writing the 696MB of MP3 files took 2m 26s, while reading the data back took 1m 34s. It goes to show that the read speed is a lot faster than the write speed, which is typical for a hard drive.
When it comes to price the PHD really starts to look attractive compared to Flash-based alternatives. With a street price of £94, it's a real bargain - you'd probably only get 2GB of Flash storage for this price. Of course you could go for an external 2.5in hard disk and get masses of storage space, but it wouldn't be as portable, and would be far more power hungry when being used with a notebook.
The Seagate Pocket Hard Drive is a great little device. It may not be as small as some USB flash drives, but it's very capacious and represents great value for money.
|Seagate Pocket Hard Drive|
|More info||The Seagate site|
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